Joe Teisan: November 2017
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING IN THE BIRTH-STORY OF JESUS?
1-4: Luke the beloved Greek physician, companion of Paul and writer of Acts, carefully investigated the life of Jesus in 60 A.D., so that we may know for certain that the claims of Christ, in whom we believe, are absolutely true. Luke’s elegant and formal introduction, unique in Scripture, is a literary gem in polished Greek. Luke interviewed eyewitnesses, and Mary could have given him this most complete account of Christ’s birth in chapters 1-2, because “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (2:9). Under Holy Spirit inspiration, Luke, with the diagnostic eye of a physician, writes the world’s most beautiful book, the longest and most accurate life of Christ ever written by a Gentile.
5-25: In God’s temple at Jerusalem, the angel Gabriel announces to Zechariah the priest, that his wife Elizabeth, will give birth to Messiah’s forerunner. Luke has over 90 verses about the family of John the Baptist, his birth, ministry and death. Six months older than his cousin Jesus, John, the last of the prophets, will go before Him “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, to turn many to Christ (17).
26-56: Later, Gabriel appears in Nazareth of Galilee, to announce to the virgin, Mary, that she also shall bring forth a Son, call Him Jesus, Son of the Highest, and He will sit upon the eternal throne of King David forever, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Gen. 3:15, 2 Sam. 7:12, 14, Is. 9:6-7). “Jesus”, meaning “Jehovah the Savior”, identifies Christ as the Creator God, Jehovah, in whom Old Testament saints trusted for salvation (Gen. 15:6, Mt. 1:21).
57-66: Christ in your heart means new birth, a new song, new understanding, new joy and new life. Since Elizabeth and Zechariah are too old to have a child, and the child is named and commissioned before birth, John’s birth is miraculous in many ways. “And the hand of the Lord was with him” (66). This book resounds with the Providence of God bringing all events together for His glory and to bring salvation to all who will believe (Rom. 8:28).
67-80: Zechariah, father of John, filled with the Holy Spirit, sings the beautiful prophetic praise hymn, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel”, or the Benedictus. “The Messiah who is Light … to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” And John the Baptist, “became strong in spirit and was in the deserts until the day of his appearing to Israel” (Mt. 3).
With singing hearts, we joyfully announce the birth of Christ. * O Holy Night * Away in a Manger * * Good Christian Men Rejoice * Silent Night * Angels We Have Heard On High * Go Tell It On the Mountain * Joy to the World * While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks * O Little Town of Bethlehem * What Child is This? * O Come, All Ye Faithful * It Came Upon a Midnight Clear * O Come, O Come, Emmanuel * Hark, the Herald Angels Sing * Angels From the Realms of Glory * The First Noel * For Unto Us a Child Is Born
Joseph A. Teisan
Bethel Baptist Sunday School